Adam Kyler Petty (b. July 10, 1980) is an American professional race car driver. He currently drives the #43 Twisted Tea Dodge Dart for Petty Enterprises in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
The son of former racer Kyle Petty, Adam has won 67 races and the 2006, 2014, and 2017 Cup championships.
Adam attempted seven Winston Cup races in the #45 Sprint Chevy, while running full time in the Busch Series. He made all of them, and was ready to go for 2001.
Adam started 2001 by winning the pole for the Daytona 500, one of only a handful or rookies to do so throughout NASCAR history. He finished 13th and narrowly avoided Dale Earnhardt's fatal wreck. He nearly won Rockingham, but he was overtaken by Steve Park with 12 to go, finishing 2nd. He got his first win at Indy, finished 12th in points, and won Rookie of the Year honors.
Adam had a breakthrough year in 2002, having six wins, including Rockingham, Texas, and Indy. He finished 9th in points. Pontiac left NASCAR due to being constantly outperformed by the other cars, making way for a new competitor, Toyota, to enter the playing field in 2004, years ahead of expectations.
2003 was a mild year for Adam, with three wins, the main one being at Martinsville where he put 32 out of the 43 cars in the pack a lap down and won do to fuel strategy, and secured a 14th in the standings at the end of the season. Adam's father, Kyle Petty, announced retirement and retired once the season ended.
Kyle would takeover some of Petty Enterprises from his father Richard, and would be able to better boost his son's abilities. NASCAR also temporarily only had 3 car manufacturers, Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet; but Toyota would be coming into play soon.
Adam started out winning the Daytona 500, in a special STP 1979 scheme (in a number switch with John Andretti, marking the first time a Petty has raced the #43 since 1992.). He had six more wins, including his first win at Talladega by .007 seconds and he also made the inaugural Chase for the Nextel Cup, and finished second in the standings to Kurt Busch. Toyota only had 1 team in 2004 (Travis Carter Enterprises made the change because Toyota offered their racecars cheaper than Chevrolet had) but because of this they only won one race at Texas.
Adam had a weak year (by his standards.) He won one race, the Dickies 500 at Texas, and finished 17th in the standings. He did come in 2nd 4 times throughout the season, however. Kyle just told his son not to make the same mistakes he did, and to move on and return stronger than ever. Wells Fargo replaced Sprint as Adam's primary sponsor, although Sprint still sponsored the rear side-skirts of the car.
2006 was Adam's best year by all considerable measurements. He won ten races, including the Daytona 500, and beat out Jimmie Johnson for the championship. This was also John Andretti's last year, he called retirement. Andretti would be replaced by Bobby Labonte, who would also take the Cheerios sponsor as well.
Adam won 4 races, en route to a 5th place finish in points. It was a relatively good season for Adam, as he had many top 5 and top 10 finishes to make up for his lack of wins.
Adam had five wins in 2008, including his third Daytona 500, and finished second in points to Jimmie Johnson. Marathon Gas became Adam's primary sponsor for 30 races. Wells Fargo (4 races) and Sprint (2 races) were also sponsors. His performance was enough to save Petty Enterprises, who also got more confidence with Bobby Labonte.
Adam's sponsorship became a mismatch, Marathon Gas sponsored 20 races, Wells Fargo for 10 and Sprint for 6. Adam won his fourth and final Daytona 500, avoiding a wreck with 3 to go. Adam had, including the Daytona 500, 3 wins in 2009, a relatively disappointing season. He finished 13th in points. Bobby Labonte almost left for the #96 Ask.com car due to a lack of sponsors, but got STP at the last minute, so Erik Darnell drove the #96.
Adam's 2010 sponsorship became hard to keep track of, Marathon Gas still had a majority sponsorship of 17 races, followed by Wells Fargo with 9 races, Sprint with 8 and Twisted Tea with 2 races. He won 6 races and came in 3rd in points behind Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch.
2011 saw not only Bobby Labonte's final season, but also Marathon Gas and Sprint drop sponsorship and go to other drivers, leaving Wells Fargo with 26 races and Twisted Tea with 10 races. Adam won 3 races, coming 9th in points.
Adam's 2012 sponsorship saw Twisted Tea become the main sponsor with 27 races, and Wells Fargo sponsor a minority of races at 9. Adam had a horrible season, winning 1 race at Infineon and finishing the season 21st in points.
Adam had two wins, including the fall Texas race, and Homestead. He had 22 top 10s however, and finished 12th in points.
Adam won four races in 2014, including both Martinsville races, the July Daytona race, and Homestead, en route to a championship, edging Kevin Harvick.
Adam had three wins in 2015, including both road courses, and Kentucky, finishing fifth in the standings.
2016 was a mild year for Adam, with two wins, those being Las Vegas and Darlington, the latter of which he ran a throwback like his 2000-2004 scheme. He remained consistent enough to finish second in the standings to Jimmie Johnson, however.
Adam had a dominant season in 2017, with seven wins (Atlanta, Las Vegas, Martinsville 1, New Hampshire 1, Darlington, Texas 2, and Homestead) and the 2017 championship.
In 2018, Adam and Aric Almirola will switch rides, giving Adam the #43 and Aric the #45. Adam will also take a 25% stake in Petty Enterprises, with his dad Kyle having 60% and grandfather Richard having 15%.